Welcoming Speech by the NA President at the Meeting with the US Congressmen
20 September 2017

Dear Congressmen,
Dear Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is an honour for me today, in the plenary hall of the National Assembly of the Republic of Artsakh, along with the presence of the representatives of legislative and executive authorities of the Republic, as well as public and scientific spheres, to welcome the members of the US House of Representatives and Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, who have just arrived in Stepanakert.

  • Congressman Frank Pallone, democrat, from New Jersey. Founder and co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.
  • Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, democrat, from Hawaii. Member of the Foreign Affairs and Armed Services Committees.

I am glad to inform that our American colleges are accompanied by the Permanent Representative of Artsakh Republic in the USA, Robert Avetisyan, Co-chair of Armenian Assembly of America Antony Barsamian and the Director of the US structure of the “Armenia” all Armenian fund, Maria Mihranian.

I am sure that Maria is well remembered in our Republic for active and fruitful activities that she carries out in the all Armenian fund.

Yesterday, the President of the Artsakh Republic Bako Sahakyan met our Congressmen friends in Yerevan and handed in state awards to them. By congratulating them for the awards, on the rights of the host party, I would like to say them:

Welcome to Arstakh, dear friends!

Our friendship with the US congressmen has deep roots. Despite the fact of their rare visits to Artsakh, we always felt and continue to feel the permanent support of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues that they demonstrate as towards American-Armenian community, as towards Artsakh and Armenia.

Dear Congressmen

You are very well aware about the Artsakh’s struggle and its path of the independent statehood, and it is not today that you learn about it. I am happy that you had an opportunity to visit Artsakh and to see with your own eyes all the things that we tried to bring to your attention during our meetings in Washington, DC, especially, at the annual events dedicated to Artsakh’s independence that we are organizing on Capitol Hill since 2006.

Dear friends,

Our past is the key to our future. In this regard, there are many commonalities between the paths passed by the United States and Artsakh. The United States – the land of the free and the home of the brave - two and a half century ago was established on the set of ideals: freedom, rights, democracy and equality. About three decades ago this very ideas inspired our people to raise the flag of freedom high.

In this context, it is not accidental the fact that the first signs in supporting Artsakh’s freedom and independence are coming from the United States, in the form of resolutions adopted by the legislatures at the state level. Such resolutions are not only encouraging for the people of Artsakh in their unequal struggle for freedom, but come to prove once again the US loyalty to the absolute ideal of freedom.

Despite the attempts to artificially isolate Artsakh from the regional and international processes, our country is open to the world. It is of utmost importance for us the perception of the right to freedom and independence and moral support that are demonstrated by politicians, public figures and lawmakers who are interested in Artsakh and our people, and today’s meeting with the US congressmen is a vivid example thereof.

We value also the fact that the members of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, without partisan differences, support each other on the legislative initiatives of Armenian importance. Two days ago, in the Parliament we hosted Congressman David Valadao who initiated amendment on funding demining activities in Artsakh for upcoming fiscal year and along with the support of Congressmen Pallone, got the Congressional approval. And taking the advantage I would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the American lawmakers, whose efforts definitely will save many lives.

I would like to ensure our American colleagues that the real opportunity for regional security and peace, in which we all are interested, are conditioned by this kind of progressive steps.

The authorities and people of Artsakh highly appreciate the mediation efforts of the United States as an OSCE Minsk Group co-chair country, in the negotiations aiming at peaceful settlement of the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict. Despite all the efforts of the mediators and our official position to solve the conflict exclusively by peaceful means, Azerbaijani authorities continue to develop the policy of solving the problem with the use of military, and the April war of 2016 was the evidence thereof.

Regret to mention that the threat of resuming war has not disappeared. In this context, we think that real international measures needed to curb Azerbaijan’s military ambitions because the next military adventure will seriously disturb the equilibrium of the security system and will bring out the conflict beyond regional boundaries. Taking into consideration all these facts, especially the lessons of the April aggression of 2016, we are more convinced than ever in the rightness of our position according to which the international recognition of the Republic of Artsakh is the key to the regional peace and security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

         Once again, I would like to welcome our guests – the members of the US House of Representatives, and give the floor to the Congressman Frank Pallone.

         Please, congressman Pallone.

Dear Congressmen,
Ladies and gentlemen

The history of humanity has proven that success can be achieved only there, where positive energy is accumulated to overcome the emerging challenges. Voices raised for the freedom and justice give a result in the end. It’s important not to be tired in the middle of the way and to have courage to steadily walk towards the goal day by day. In this regard, the visit of our distinguished colleagues is a step forward to the international integration and recognition of Artsakh that deserves appreciation and high estimation.

Now, on behalf of the attendees I would like to thank our guests who continue to remain firmly committed to the universal ideals which are the same everywhere – out of space and time.

Thank you, have a good day!